The Ten Steps Story
Pat Graham, entrepreneur, has a background in learning and development associated with organisational and cultural change, and created the Ten Steps Personal Development Programme. Her motivation and passion for personal development is relevant to a continuously emerging business need for training solutions that enable employees adapt more positively to constantly changing workplace environments. It has become critical that employees engage with a continuous learning skills agenda, seen as transferrable in a workplace climate of changing roles and responsibilities.
The Ten Steps training experience is underpinned by a belief that: everyone has talent and therefore by engaging in a journey of self-discovery, employees discover their potential and become motivated to engage in learning that is likely to achieve greater self- awareness, increased levels of self- confidence and improve their resilience in this changing work climate.
In the Business and corporate world in which the Steps programme was created, just over 16 year’s ago, a key principle was embedded into it’s development viz; that this innovative training programme is about personal development first and foremost and not intended as a “sheep dip” for all employees to go through. Participants would be self-nominating as an underlying value for achieving high levels of engagement and motivation on a challenging 6-workshop programme spanning almost 3 months. This principle has been strongly respected and currently participants attend because others have recommended it or “curiosity” has prompted them to “give Steps a go”.
From experience, this has proved a difficult principle to develop a business case around. However the continuous evaluation of programmes involving over 800 participants has consistently supported the assumption that higher levels of personal development result in improved communication and self-confidence. Leading to improved work performance, and engagement with organizational and cultural change. The drop out rate has been minimal.
The four design pillars supporting the creation of this programme are:
- Purpose: learners are clear on the purpose behind everything they learn.
- Safety: learners are in a safe and secure environment where every contribution is recognized and valued.
- Ownership: learners are able to take responsibility for their own learning.
- Engagement: learners are fully engaged in learning.
The integrity of the Ten Steps programme has been maintained throughout and reflected in all aspects of marketing promotion and service delivery; these 4 pillars are embedded into the design of content and delivery of workshops.
Ten Steps has established a track record as an innovative learning experience attracting employees from diverse backgrounds with learning expectations that reflect the top 5 illustrated below.
Pat endorses the statement made by Simon Sinek that “Inspired employees make for stronger companies and stronger economics”. It would also be true for Public Sector and Third Sector Organisations.
Start with Why? Simon Sinek
A six-workshop programme involving over 40 hours of personal development spread over 3 months with each one-day content having specific aims/objectives as reflected in the route map.
The learning experience is designed to be progressive and challenging as participants begin to make changes and try out a range of learning techniques associated with life skills.
The e learning site, recently introduced, combines face- to- face learning with e learning, providing ongoing support materials to encourage a lifelong learning commitment. Participants are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and development and to be proactive in accessing learning resources at work, and in the community.
Includes a user friendly, two-hundred-page workbook containing questionnaires, personal development models, information. Designed for re-use and engagement with lifelong learning. Consistently positive feedback from participants confirms this element of the programme valuable as a learning tool.
“It is really handy to have the workbook with all the work we completed. The workbook is useful for applying techniques and insights now and in the future”.
Self- study assignments in between workshops are supported by access to an e download facility. Group support and networking is a much-reported benefit.
Additional handout materials/reference resources to meet the specific needs of participants.” Curiosity and creativity are traits that are highly encouraged”.
The Ten Steps Framework: This framework evolved from the initial pilot programmes when participants identified key actions /ideas that would enable them develop untapped skills potential. This evolving framework has been used to create a journey of self -discovery over 6 workshops that starts with “ taking charge of your future”. The step of review and re-plan, creates the opportunity for participants to develop a plan to enable them sustain personal changes and achieve staying power with self- improvement goals.
The “soft skills” learning and development agenda covers:
- Handling Feedback & defensiveness
- Problem solving & collaboration
- Relationship management
- Empathy as a life skill.
- Confidence Building in self and others
- Conflict resolution
The “group” learning environment, spread over 3 months, enables debate, sharing, support from others and an opportunity to practice the techniques/personal development models introduced and using both general and personal case studies.
The emphasis is on “ learning as a skill in it’s own right; of increasing one’s ability to become a better learner whatever the goal or aspiration. The programme is aimed at developing a freedom to succeed in a range of roles as for example a sports coach, a charity trustee, an entrepreneur, or a writer”.
This quote speaks for many of the participants of Steps:
“Steps really helped me think outside the box, empathise with others and set goals to achieve what I want in my life ”. Reference a participant
It is my belief that this approach to learning and development training must be aligned with transformational change strategies positioned and led by organisations if positive learning outcomes/benefits are to be realized both for organisations and employees alike. Otherwise the range of learning outcomes are not effectively utilized and employees with increased self-awareness plus aspiration may become disillusioned. The Steps experience is about freedom to succeed and through self- awareness to harness one’s talents and potential.